Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for My Preschooler

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for My Preschooler App Poster Image
Preschoolers help cute monsters navigate their day.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to navigate an app, what a sequence of events looks like, what to anticipate when going to school, and how to read sounds and body language as clues to emotions. Also, since the monsters don't talk, this is a good opportunity to discuss nonverbal communication. Through the monsters' everyday routines, kids can learn a lot about their own.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play, but kids do need to practice accuracy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

"Try also" ad for other apps on the app's main screen with parent gate that requires reading.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for My Preschooler is a "monster care" game for very young app users. The app was created by the makers of the childhood classic Highlights magazine, assisted by the Italian app developer Colto. Kids can role-play with five monsters through more than a dozen activities and scenes that are common in the everyday lives of preschoolers. Wake up the monster and get it out of bed, help brush its teeth and eat breakfast and engage in science experiments at school, and more. Monsters can also play games such as whack-a-mole or participate in a basketball shootout for points. In settings, parents can toggle off the sound and music. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Tap on the bed to wake up your monster, and then HIGHLIGHTS MONSTER DAY: PLAY AT HOME GAME FOR MY PRESCHOOLER begins. Move the monster through breakfast, swiping to help the monster eat exotic fruit or toast a bagel in the toaster. Tap the right arrow in the upper-right corner when you're ready to move on to the next scene of the day or the left arrow to move back a scene. When the monster is ready for the day, a bus takes it to school where kids can tap on rocks to reveal crystals, plant a seed to watch it grow, eat lunch, blow up a balloon, and more. Mini-games such as whack-a-mole and basketball show numbers as kids get points. After the bus takes the monster home, help it eat dinner, take a bubble bath, and brush its teeth. Turn on the night-light, and it's goodnight monster. Repeat with more monsters and more choices.

Is it any good?

Similar to a typical day in the life of a preschooler, the scenes and activities are relatable, easy to navigate, and charming. Helping the monsters along can be both fun and empowering, and focusing on monsters instead of kids adds the kind of silliness kids love. This app is also an easy first selection for preschoolers new to the world of apps. Though adding some audio instructions for at least the first scene or two could be helpful for kids who prefer listening to directions, it's still pretty straightforward to understand what to do and why. It would also be great to have a bit more interactivity, a wider range of reactions from the monsters, and more preschool-themed scenes that introduce kids to shapes or colors to add to the learning potential. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how each monster's daily routine is different from and similar to their own. What do they do at home? What do they like to eat?

  • Talk about the differences between the monsters and what their facial expressions and expressive sounds might mean.

  • Discuss the order in which things happen, such as how the monster gets ready for school or its bedtime routine.

App details

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